Going Full Circle


What’s a period & fertility tracker without its most basic functionality: quickly seeing where in the cycle you are and, if necessary, make adjustments when your period is early or late. It sounds simple enough, but looking at the current crop of apps in the App Store, we weren’t convinced any of them had got it right.

And as history has played out, this “simple” screen is where Pocket Cycle really shines.

Reimagining what a period tracker should be

Birth Control PillDrawing inspiration from 60 years of experience in birth control pill packages, we agreed that the best way to represent your menstrual cycle (or any repeating cycle) is a — wait for it… — circle. Next, we decided that color-coding the days makes just as much sense for our app as it does for those daily pills. We chose red for period days, and green for days in the cycle that are most fertile. For maximum simplicity, the largest dot is always today.

The Joy of Spinning

An early mockup of what Pocket Cycle would become.
An early mockup of what Pocket Cycle would become.

The real insight came when we discussed how to adjust the tracker for those inevitable times your period falls a day or two early or late. Most period apps start by asking you to come back to the app the day your period begins to fill out a configuration screen; when it’s over, you’re supposed to do the same thing. Of course what really happens is that you forget to launch that app (you’ve got better things to do) and pretty soon you’re getting error messages informing you that your period is 45 days late!

So here’s the fun part: with Pocket Cycle all you have to do is rotate the dial so that it matches up with where you are right now. Did your period happen to arrive one day early? No problem: Just spin the dial one click to the right and tap Save. Pocket Cycle is back in sync with no error messages and no endless configuration screens.

What about changes to your cycle that are larger or more systemic than a late period? We took care of that in an innovative way too. Tapping the center “Calibrate” button of the dial brings up a familiar calendar where you can tap on the start and end dates for your last period, or adjust your average cycle length and ovulation day. Everything about your cycle is plain as day in a single tab, and just as easy to adjust with a tap.

Pocket Cycle Benefits

Rotating the dial makes it almost fun to have an irregular period.
Rotating the dial makes it almost fun to have an irregular period.

The benefits over other period apps are obvious. With Pocket Cycle you’ll:

  • Always know exactly where you are in your cycle
  • Never have to manually record your period days each month
  • Never get error messages saying your period is 98 days late

The dial also makes perfect sense with the standarddays method (SDM) that Pocket Cycle uses for fertility tracking. For women with standard-length cycles, rotating the dial is all you’ll ever have to do to keep the fertility window accurate.

Pocket Cycle is available starting today in over 100 countries and is localized into a dozen languages. There are dozens of other cool features, like Partner sync and Reminders, which we’ll discuss in other blog posts, but you can download Pocket Cycle now from the App Store and try it for yourself.

We hope it will bring you as much joy as it has given us. Until then, happy spinning!